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US federal search warrants served in California deadly dive boat fire investigation

U.S. federal search warrants were served on Sunday as part of the investigation into the Conception dive boat deadly fire, which killed 34 people off the Southern California coast early on September 2.

The warrants were served at Truth Aquatics, the Santa Barbara, California-based company that owned the Conception, according to Erik Raney of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

The company’s two remaining commercial dive vessels, the Truth and the Vision, were also searched, Raney said.

The warrants were served by agents with the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other agencies, Raney said, adding the warrants were a standard part of the investigative process.

A total of 34 people died in the dive boat fire, and 33 bodies have been recovered so far. The search for the last body was suspended this weekend because of strong winds and rough seas, according to Raney.

“The dive teams are going to get together Monday to develop a plan. We’re hoping they’re back in the water on Tuesday,” Raney said.

A total of 39 people were on board when the fire broke out. Five crew members, who had been awake and jumped overboard, survived the fire and were rescued.

The boat was on a three-day diving trip when it caught fire early morning on Sept.2. It departed from Santa Barbara in the weekend for a diving excursion, and was scheduled to return the next day, according to local authorities.

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